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Album Review: Simply Grand
Gary Clark
Cover image of the album Simply Grand by Gary Clark
Simply Grand
Gary Clark
1997 / Gary Clark
Review by Kathy Parsons
I teach piano, so I play and teach many arrangements of pop music at all different levels of advancement. When I go looking for CDs to listen to, it is very rare that I buy a collection of covers - especially arrangements of so many of the tunes that I teach. Coming from that standpoint, I can’t write a fair or objective review of Gary Clark’s albums, so I will approach them from a different angle, as he is very good at what he does. Clark plays in hotels in South Florida, and his playing style is very characteristic of the “showy” style of supper clubs and settings where the music has to be catchy and impressive enough to engage someone who wants to listen carefully but also blends into the background for those who would rather chat over a pleasant backdrop of piano music. Clark does this exceptionally well with a nice combination of pop, show tunes, standards, and bits of jazz. The CD opens with a charming medley of “Over The Rainbow/When You Wish Upon a Star” and closes with “Memory” from “Cats”. In between, the selections include “Somewhere” from “West Side Story”, the standard “My Romance”, Cole Porter’s “Night and Day”, and “All I Ask of You” from “Phantom”. My favorite track is “Wave” by Carlos Jobim. It is familiar, but not something I hear all the time. “Simply Grand” would be a great choice for dinner music, music to relax or read to, or to have playing at a party with different age groups and musical tastes. Gary Clark’s playing is elegant and very capable, and the selection of familiar tunes is very pleasant.
January 1, 1997
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